Self-publishing is a popular choice for many reasons. Getting a contract from a traditional publisher may not be for you – such contracts are hard to come by, and when you finally get them, you'll have to hand over a lot of rights to the publisher concerned. Self-publishing allows you to retain various rights to the final product, sells the product at a much lower price, and provides the opportunity to do your own marketing and advertising. Whatever the reason, self-publishing a book is a great way to sell books to anyone who is interested. Keep reading to learn about the different ways you can self-publish your book.
Part 1 of 4: Writing, Editing, Designing and Marketing
Step 1. Know that writing a book takes a lot of time and hard work
Writing a book may take 4-12 hours a day, from a few months to a year. If you really want to write a book, dedicate a large part of the day to looking for ideas, writing, and improving your writing.
- Many writers find that their minds are most productive and imaginative when they just wake up in the morning. Find out when the time of day is most productive and imaginative for you and use that time to write.
- Don't forget to read while writing. Reading is a superfood that nourishes writers. Set aside time during the day, if you haven't already, to read a book and think about ideas seriously.
Step 2. Get ready
Publishing your own book takes a lot of initiative and determination. Remember, your interest in publishing books to the general public will strengthen you when you encounter various obstacles, which you will surely encounter along the process of publishing your own book. However, self-publishing can be a fun and lucrative job.
Step 3. Explore all the options
Decide if self-publishing is the right choice for you. Talk to several publishing companies and compare costs to benefits. Write down all the reasons you want to self-publish, and estimate how much it will cost; Cover design, editing, and formatting costs can be quite expensive. Determine if your reasons for self-publishing are strong enough to outweigh the costs, and if so, continue your efforts.
- A rough estimate of the cost of self-publishing a book might go something like this:
- Format settings: $0 (Rp0.00; do it yourself) - $150 (approximately $20.00) or more, although this stage shouldn't be too expensive.
- Cover design: $0 (Rp0.00; do it yourself) - $1,000 (approximately Rp14,500,000). Be aware that if you choose to publish your book electronically, the person you hire to design the cover will likely only use existing images.
- Editing: $0 (Rp0.00; done by yourself) - $3,000 (approximately Rp44,000,000) for substantive editing (developmental editing). Many budding publishers estimate a budget of around $500 for a combination of proofreading and copyediting.
Step 4. Edit your book
Make sure the contents of the book are complete, well edited, and in perfect grammar. You can also ask a few trusted friends to read the manuscript and provide feedback, and discuss with you facts, character motivations, or other details in your book.
- If you are a member of a writer's community, or participate frequently in writers' forums, consider using the forum as a source of free (or relatively free) advice. Forums are often attended by fans who are inspired to help others and very proud of their proofreading.
- Proofreading usually has to be done several times until all errors, formatting errors, and style errors are found and corrected. Especially if using a free service, it can take two to three readings to fully edit the book. Even after 2-3 readings, don't expect a flawless, flawless finish.
Step 5. Hire an editor
Hiring an expert editor allows you to get the best feedback and improve the quality of your work at the cost of the editor's services. Determine if your book requires substantive editing or copyediting. Substantive editing is when most of the book's content needs to be changed, characters smoothed out, and errors found and corrected. Copyediting is more about finding and fixing problems; in other words, it is more about improving what already exists, rather than creating something entirely new.
Step 6. Create a good title
If you haven't already, come up with a title that people will be interested in. The title of the book can tempt people to buy your book-or vice versa. For example, the title "Guidelines for Consumption of Bacterial Injected Dairy Products and Apidae Excretion" is less interesting than the title "Delicious Servings of Gorgonzola and Honey."
Step 7. Hire a designer to create a professional cover design
Unless you are an artist and can do it yourself, hire a professional designer. Professional designers can work quickly and help your book look great.
Cover design is very important, especially if the book is going to be displayed on a bookstore shelf. Be prepared to pay for not only the front cover design, but also the spine and back cover, which will require additional costs. However, if you publish your own book, logically your book should look as good as possible
Step 8. Include a copyright statement
While registering your work with the copyright office is the safest and best way, you can also claim copyright by including an explicit statement in a prominent part of the book. Most self-publishing sites provide a copyright statement. For example, on the copyright page, or back cover, listing ©2012, Ima Nauther, copyright protected by law is sufficient to state that the work is yours. Next, go to the government copyright page and fill in the required form.
Step 9. Get the ISBN number
The ISBN number is a 13-digit code used to easily identify and track books. There are many self-publishing sites that can provide you with an ISBN number, but if you want to do all the self-publishing processes yourself, get the ISBN code yourself. The ISBN code needs to be obtained in order for your book to be listed in the Bowker database where the bookstore can find the latest books for sale.
- ISBN numbers can be purchased directly from ISBNs, but be aware that one ISBN number is quite expensive, at $125 (approximately IDR 2,000,000.00). ISBN numbers can also be purchased in bulk if you want to save money. 10 ISBN numbers sell for $250 (approximately $3,600), 100 numbers sell for $575 (approximately $8,300,000), and 1,000 numbers sell for $1,000 (approximately $14,500,000).
- An ISBN number is required for each book format:.prc (kindle),.epub (Kobo and others), etc.
Step 10. Choose a printing service provider
Find out and get price information set by various printing service providers. Prices vary depending on paper quality, binding, and color. The greater the number of books printed, the lower the price per book. Consider printing around 500-2,000 copies.
Part 2 of 4: Self-Publishing Your E-Book
Step 1. Know the advantages of publishing through a website; which includes:
- Lower cost; the cost of writing and editing a book is the same as the cost of publishing. Creating an e-book does not require a large additional cost.
- If you are very successful, the benefits are also very large. E-book publishers, such as Kindle Direct Publishing, allow authors to receive 70% of total book sales, which means that if your book is a success and is competitively priced, you can make a big profit.
- You retain all rights. You don't have to give up rights to a publisher who may not care about your interests.
Step 2. Know the disadvantages of publishing via a website; which includes:
- You have to do all the marketing and advertising yourself. Publishers usually do not market or advertise your book.
- Prices must be competitive. E-books can cost as low as a few thousand rupiah, which means your book will have to sell a lot in order to be profitable in the long run.
Step 3. Publish online (online)
Online publishers such as Smashwords, Kindle Direct Publishing, PubIt (Barnes & Noble), or Kobo's Writing Life allow you to publish books for free in electronic form.
Step 4. Create an account on the online publisher's website
An account is required to upload the book and set up all the necessary details. Many publishers provide formatting from popular word processing programs, or hire someone to format your manuscript.
Step 5. Upload your final book
After filling in all the details requested by the online publisher's website, select the done button, and the book is printed. You are now the author of a published book!
Part 3 of 4: With the Print-On-Demand Method
Step 1. Understand what Print on Demand (POD) is
POD is when you submit your book in electronic form and ask the seller to print the book. POD sellers usually attempt to sell your book to other sellers (such as Barnes & Noble), but often only offer books online.
Step 2. Know the advantages of publishing with POD; which includes:
- Get the book in physical form, which has the potential to be a valuable marketing tool.
- The printing of the book is done by the salesperson, who handles all aspects of the production.
- Get resources that might market your book to major sellers around the world.
Step 3. Know the disadvantages of issuing with POD; which includes:
- POD issuance costs are more expensive. In the end you may have a physical book, but production costs skyrocket when compared to an e-book.
- Must set the book format according to the seller's specifications, which sometimes vary. Each seller asks for different format specifications, which you must meet before submitting a book to the seller.
- Marketing and distribution is not as extensive as expected. Salespeople may help with the marketing and distribution of your book, but not as widely as you might think. Oftentimes, POD sellers only sell books online, and you'll have to do extensive marketing and distribution yourself.
Step 4. Choose a POD seller
There are many POD sellers to choose from for budding writers who want to see their book published in physical form but don't have the money to make that happen. Some POD seller services include Lulu, Lighting Source, or Createspace.
Step 5. Set the book format according to the specifications requested by the POD seller
These specifications vary on each website. So, be prepared for some confusing clues. After meeting the format specifications and submitting the book to the POD seller, the next process will be carried out by the seller.
Part 4 of 4: Through Paid Publishers or Subsidies
Step 1. Understand what a paid publisher is (vanity press)
Paid publisher is a term with a negative connotation that refers to small-scale publishing houses where writers have to pay to get their work published. Major publishers cover publishing costs by selling books; Paid publishers cover publishing costs by asking authors to pay their own book publishing costs. Paid publishers are usually less selective than large publishers, so they are judged to be less proud.
Step 2. Paid publishers should be avoided by serious writers
Paid publishers are best avoided, unless the author has an unstoppable desire to publish a book and can't do it any other way. Paid publishers advertise themselves as traditional or subsidized publishers, but charge high fees and do little or no marketing/distribution of the work. Paid publishers often do not select works, and approve publication of all works submitted to them.
The only advantage of publishing through a paid publisher is seeing your book published in physical form. However, POD also generates the same benefits, so there are many serious writers who are turning away from paid publishers as much as they are staying away from the plague
Step 3. Understand what a subsidy issuer is
Subsidized publishers are almost the same as paid publishers. Subsidized publishers do not select works as strictly as traditional publishers, but are similar to traditional publishers in that they often reject works. However, subsidized publishers require authors to pay binding and publishing fees; the good side is that the subsidized publisher does the marketing and distribution of the work, as well as being willing to put his name as the publisher of the work. Authors tend to have limited control over design and so on, although they may receive royalties.
- Research shows that book buyers see three things: the front cover, the back cover, and the table of contents. Feel free to spend money to make all three sections look as good as possible. Hire a graphic designer if necessary, but consider the three sections like the “kitchen and bathroom” section of a house. The money used to make these three sections appear attractive will bring huge profits.
- Give your book away for free to anyone with an interest in your genre or topic and have them write a review on amazon.com. Books without reviews on amazon.com have very low sales rates. Because on amazon.com potential buyers can't get a glimpse of your entire book, they rely on reviews created by other people.
- Publicity is key. There are many amazing books in the world that sold only 351 copies because they were not promoted properly. There were also many poorly written books that sold 43,000 copies because they were properly promoted.
- Get a sample book before it goes to print. If you don't like how the book looks, you can change it before paying a fortune to print 1,000 copies of the crappy book.
- Promote your book through press releases, articles, blogs, websites, and any other way you can think of, because marketing is the core activity that ensures people know about and buy your book.
- Join a group of indie writers or online independent publishers. There are many such groups, and they can give you advice on everything from cover design to marketing.
- List all your books on amazon.com. Take the time to write “publisher comments”, and make sure they are carefully, well-written, and in perfect grammar. These comments can be used by potential buyers to determine whether or not to buy your book.
- Create a great description for your book. Thus, there will be more and more potential buyers who are interested. Make a concise and meaningful description to attract buyers' interest.
- Make sure the proofreading of the book is done thoroughly. Don't let your book get bad reviews just because of a typo and/or bad formatting. You have nothing to lose by hiring a professional editor, who can read and improve your work as perfectly as possible. It's better if people don't know that your book is a self-published book.
- Create a tagline like "Rosemary Thornton, author, The Houses That Sears Built". A tagline like that provides great free publicity to your target market!
- Don't print too many books, especially when there are more readily available substitutes and/or the number of requests is uncertain. Too many printed book supplies mean you're paying too much and likely not getting much profit. E-books are much cheaper, do not need to be printed, and are the largest growing market.
- The trend of self-publishing books will not fade. The authors who self-published their books managed to gain greater success than ever before. Internet marketing, e-book publishing, and social networking sites have helped authors get their self-published books to market their readers and potential buyers. The playing field is becoming more and more fair. When self-publishing, the control and success of the book is in your own hands.
- Create a website, and connect to the Amazon bookstore. Promote your book on the website.
- Remember, publishing a book through a publishing house like Scholastic, Dutton, or Penguin has many advantages, such as getting editors and publicists to help improve your work and increase sales. While it can take a lot of work to get a contract with a major publisher, don't give up this option just because you don't like working with a company.
- Use a search engine, such as Google, to see if there are other books that have the same or very similar title that you want to use for your book. Book titles cannot be registered as copyright, although trademarks can be registered, for example the "Chicken Soup for the Soul" or "for Dummies" series. If your chosen title can cause confusion or is overused, consider replacing it with something different and memorable.
- For best results, include the subject (or category) in the title or subtitle, so readers can find your book in a catalog or database by subject even if they don't know the author of the book. Just including a subtitle such as “ancient Greek novels” can already help readers find the book, as well as help bookstores decide which category to put the book in.